If you're not watching Spike TV's military pseudo-science show — which pits combatants from different eras against each other using recreations, weapons experts, and computers — then next Tuesday's the time to tune in: it's vamp-daddy against strategy-daddy!

The show shouldn't be as much fun as it is: Basically, it takes two "classes" of combatants and imagines what it'd be like if they fought. To do this imagining, Deadliest Warrior enlists devotees of whatever martial styles each combatant would favor — kung fu masters, modern-day maori warriors, tomahawk experts, etc — and lets them loose on a series of dummies and human-body proxies, with a doctor on-hand to examine the "wounds." Then, a dude at a computer crunches the numbers — attack time, strike force, soft-tissue damage, and so on — and runs a bunch of simulations. Finally, taking into account intangible modifiers like tales of ferocity, spiritual motivation, and innate toughness, Deadliest Warrior declare the deadliest warrior.


It's like CSI meets D&D. The show's a little less fun when it strays from classic archetypes like Samurai vs. Viking, Pirate vs. Knight, and William Wallace vs. Shaka Zulu and pits modern classes against each other. Maybe it's me, but it's not as much fun with IRA vs. Taliban or Somali Pirate vs. Medellin Drug Cartel — but I'm hoping that Vlad vs. Sun will bring it back home.